Convicted Former Blackwater Guards Challenge Use of MEJA

According to Law360, the four former Blackwater guards convicted in the 2007 Nisour Square shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians argued before the DC Circuit that the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA) should not have been used to prosecute them. While challenging most elements of the government’s case, they claim in particular that as State Department contractors providing diplomatic security, they were not directly supporting the Defense Department’s reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Their argument has been backed by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The four men are seeking acquittal or at a minimum new trials. Once again evidence, as we argued in a past blog post, for the need to pass the Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (CEJA). Why should State Department contractors working overseas not be subject to the same laws that apply to Defense Department contractors?

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